The Manhattan Project, the top-secret program started by the United States who employed many ex-German scientists, has been hailed as one of the greatest and worst achievements in human history. It stopped a war, but it also caused the entire world to live in fear ever since. Have you ever imagined what would have happened if Hitler would have gotten his hands on the most destructive weapon in human history? Well that reality was closer than most of us might think according to film maker Andreas Sulzer. Sulzer believes he has discovered the biggest secret Nazi nuclear weapons facility in history. His search began years ago from an off-handed comment made in a letter written by a German scientist named Viktor Schauberger. In his letter, Schauberger talks of a project he is working on for the Third Reich under the strictest of security. He warns his colleagues in a letter that he is involved in “atom smashing”, which is presumed to mean the attempted production of a nuclear weapon. The project began in the late 1930’s after a report by two German scientists named Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman that detailed their findings on nuclear fission, a process by which a Uranium 235 atom is split by a neutron causing a nuclear reaction. Speculation started to mount that this could in fact be the spot where Hitler conducted his atomic experiments, when high levels of radiation were detected near a vast network of underground tunnels that were dug by concentration camp prisoners. While nothing has been proven yet, historians remain hopeful that these new findings can lead to the answer to ultimate question of whether Hitler was trying to obtain a nuclear weapon. You won’t want to miss these photos of this secret Nazi nuclear weapons facility.
The small and sleepy town of St. Georgen an der Gusen in Austria holds some very dark secrets.
During WWII, it was home to the Nazi Mathausen-Gusen Concentration Camp where thousands upon thousands of Jews were systematically killed.
Nazi death camp survivors cheer on Allied soldiers as the concentration camp of Mathausen-Gusen is liberated. Thousands of prisoners at this camp were used to construct underground catacombs that made up the B8 Bergkristall weapons facility in St Georgen an der Gusen, and possibly an additional facility that was used for research on nuclear fusion, a.k.a. creating an atomic bomb.
A lone guard tower looks out over the barbed wire fence that still stands at Mathausen-Gusen Concentration Camp in this haunting image. I can’t imagine the horror these people went through everyday. It really is unimaginable to think of what could have happened to our world if Hitler had succeeded in developing an atomic bomb.
A photo of Mathausen-Gusen emptied after it was liberated by the Allied powers in May of 1945. Even just this picture gives me the chills. I can’t even begin to imagine the feeling of terror that the thousands of people who passed through those gates must have experienced.
These secret tunnel openings were made by the Germans as a last ditch effort to hold onto the secret weapons facility as it became more and more clear that the allies were going to win the war. They even went as far as sealing entrances with giant granite plates to keep Allied soldiers out even after the war was over.
Andreas Sulzer works with excavation crews to break through the secret tunnels built by Mathausen-Gusen Concentration Camp prisoners. Entrances to the labyrinth of underground tunnels will hopefully reveal never before discovered laboratories used to conduct research on atomic weapons by Hitler’s team of scientists.
Sulzer is intimately involved in the process of discovery and excavation for this project. His interest in finding the site of Hitler’s secret atomic research began when he read a letter written by Viktor Schauberger that detailed his involvement in secret research involving “atom-smashing”. Sulzer also unearthed some very interesting documents by a top American agent who kept tabs on Nazi scientists. In these documents this man says there is a major complex hidden underneath St. Georgen. “We found these very, very interesting documents that point out that there was a very secret project going on in St. Georgen, It could also be associated with atomic research”, said Sulzer.
An authentic Nazi SS helmet found at excavation site. Sulzer and his team of historians and scientists have been digging at this site for three years. Can you imagine unearthing a piece of history such as this?
Hans Kammler, a high ranking Nazi officer, was put in charge of the Mathausen-Gusen Concentration Camp. He even signed off on the blueprints for every gas chamber that was put into a concentration camp. He also oversaw the work done by prisoners as they built the first jet engine powered airplane, the Messerschmitt ME 262 in a secret weapons facility known as the B8 Bergkristall factory. A revolutionary aircraft at the time of its development, it was the fastest aircraft on Earth until the Allies came out with there own jet powered airplanes. To top it all off, he was also in charge of Hitler’s missile program, including the V-2 rocket that was used against London late in the war.
In the center of this photo we have SS Commander of the Mathausen-Gusen Concentration Camp, Franz Ziereis. Slugger and his team believe there may actually be a mass grave hidden somewhere within the catacombs of prisoner built tunnels. Evidence of this comes from documents and interviews obtained by Sulzer. The most compelling piece of information may come from Franz Ziereis himself. He was shot while attempting to flee the facility and was interrogated before his death.
Franz Ziereis admitted on his death-bed that he had orders to kill the inmates at the facility, specifically the ones working on secret projects for the Third Reich. “He was told to bring them to the tunnels and blow them up with a chemical substance, but he claimed that he did not execute the order”, says Sulzer. Even so, estimates are that some 320,000 prisoners perished because of the horrible conditions in the underground catacombs.
The scale of this facility is enormous. Tunnels run on for acres, 75 acres to be exact. Ground penetrating radar was needed to assess the size of the massive facility.
The existence of this facility was highly valued by the Third Reich. So much so that the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, visited the site throughout the war. The Nazis considered it one of their most valued secrets and went to great lengths to keep it hidden from the opposing forces.
Sulzer and his crew had to use heavy machinery to break through the concrete and granite seals the Nazis put in place to keep people out.
These dark, cramped tunnels were once home to weapons development, and possibly even atomic bomb research. Thousands upon thousands of concentration camp prisoners died building these underground tunnels. Prisoners with specific skills such as physicists, chemists, and rocket experts were brought in for their knowledge, and used to try to help develop these weapons of mass destruction.
The exact location of this maze of tunnels was found using ground penetrating radar, and by conducting radiation level tests around the town of St. Georgen an der Gusen.
These tunnels may hold the bodies of thousands of Jews that were killed days before the Allied liberation of the Mathausen-Gusen Concentration Camp.
Workers from the concentration camp built these tunnels deep underground to protect the facilities from Allied bombing runs that decimated Europe near the end of the war.
Pondering what the world would possibly be like today if Hitler had his hands on atomic technology is a really scary thought. Luckily it is just that, a thought. We won’t ever have to live with the reality that could have been. The thousands of people who may have been buried down in these tunnels deserve to be laid to rest though, and that is why this project is extremely important. The human race can never forget the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime, or any other evil world power that has threatened to throw the world into complete and utter chaos.